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Open application or not?

Which is more effective/ more likely to get u an offer :applying to specific college or making an open application for Cambridge?
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Original post by Jocelynandres
Which is more effective/ more likely to get u an offer :applying to specific college or making an open application for Cambridge?

You would just get allocated to a less popular college in terms of number of applications to make up the difference in numbers.

If you still can't decide upon a college, then by all means do make an Open Application. :biggrin:

Here are the statistics for 2021:
Neither is more effective. The best way to get into Cambridge is to be good enough to get into Cambridge.

Now, depending on your subject there may be some colleges you don't want to apply for. Most significantly, applying for Maths at Trinity is one of the few subject and college combinations where you put yourself at a disadvantage when applying. Similarly with CS at Churchill or Trinity (STEM at Trinity, and to a lesser extent colleges like Churchill tends to be quite significantly oversubscribed, although this doesn't matter if you are planning on applying for humanities. At the very least I'm not aware of anything similar for humanities ).

However, aside from this you would be better put revising rather than trying to game the system. Hell if you try and "beat" the system by looking at admission statistics and the like you could very well screw yourself over as applications per college for a specific course can vary by significant amounts in consecutive years (even doubling in number), and even if you were to somehow gain an "advantage", it would be minuscule at best.
Also do look at things like location. You do have to travel to lectures, and being on the opposite side of Cambridge is not fun. Perhaps look into the Director of Studies for the college too, although I will admit this is very difficult to research about. Some DoS's are absolutely great people who will make your education significantly easier. Others, you hear... interesting stories about them.
Do not submit an open application. It's not worth the risk you end up at a college that is incredibly far away (unless you want that, in which case apply to girton or homerton directly) or has no money (lucy cavendish) or is 50% private (robinson), or any number of other problems you might have with a college. There is definitely at least a collection of colleges you don't want to go to, so make sure to apply to one of the colleges you do. Often you'll be splitting hairs to make a decision but you might as well choose one you like.

Applying directly vs open will not affect your chances of getting in.

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